Here's our guide to some of the best real ales and craft beers available at Asda

There are few things in life better than getting to the end of a long shop and finding that somehow, you’ve managed to amble your way, at long last, to the beer aisle.

Picture it in front of you (or alternatively use the one above): gone are the walls of generic big brand lager, instead an alchemist’s library of golden (and red and black) liquid greets you. IPAs sit alongside lagers, stouts jostle for your attention amongst clusters of red ales and golden ales sit in contrast to dark porters.

In these days of ever increasing product knowledge and desire for quality and locally sourced produce, even the big Supermarket groups are beginning to realise that consumers are looking for greater choice.

With that in mind we decided to create a series of reviews looking at the beer offerings of some of the bigger supermarkets.

Up first is Asda, here’s a look at some of the beers they have on offer (and don’t worry there’s not a single smart price lager in sight):

Scottish ales and lager

Innis and Gunn Craft Brewed Lager 

Picture: Innis and Gunn

For those desiring great beer delivered in a classic can then thankfully, Innis and Gunn have delivered. One of Scotland’s more famous brewers, Innis and Gunn have gone out of their way to create a crisp golden Helles-style beer, made in small batches with a mixture of Lager malt and Naked Golden Oats.

Abv: 4.6%

Price: £5 for a 4 pack

For those who….. who love beer from a can but want better quality and taste than your average fare.

McEwans Champion

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Well received on many beer review sites, McEwans Champion is a great nod to the formerly ubiquitous (and many would say, widely missed) Scottish brand. Not content to settle on nostalgic appeal, the Caledonian Brewing Company have created a deliciously warm Scottish ale with a delightfully fruity and malty taste. Be warned though, it goes down easy and at 7.2% abv you might want to be mindful of how many you drink.

Abv:  7.3%

Price: £1.75

For those who…… love a little bit of nostalgia as well as a great beer

Black Wolf Brewery – 

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The Black Wolf Brewery based in Stirling has created an interesting range of craft beers for Asda, definitely worth a look at.

Rok – A modern twist on the classic pale ale formula, lovely hit of hops with citrus notes. Abv – 4% Price – £1.50

Lomond Gold – Well rounded Golden ale that’s bursting with fruity flavour. Abv – 5% Price – £2

Double Espresso – Gold medal winner at the 2012 World Beer Awards, stunning little stout with a creamy coffee flavour. Abv -Price – £1.79

Orkney Brewery – 

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Orkney brewery is a well established real ale brewery that produces some of the more classic Scottish beers on this list.

Corncrake ale – Golden ale with hints of honey, apricot and citrus.  Abv – 4.1% Price – £1.70

Dark Island – Orkney’s signature award winning beer, only eclipsed by Skullsplitter in terms of taste, a great little buy. Abv – 4.6% Price – £1.70

Northern Lights – Light and refreshing ale with a summery feel. Abv – 4% Price – £1.70

Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted

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The little mouse logo has seen some good exposure over the past few years and it’s no surprise to find some of Harviestoun’s beers here. Building on a solid base of success the brewery is going from strength to strength.

Bitter and Twisted is a snappy little beer that offers a (lemony) twist on the classic golden ale formula. Great for a summer BBQ.

Abv: 4.2%

Price: £1.50

For those who….. like their beers slighty more zesty

Cairngorm Brewery Black Gold

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Scoring consistently high on many beer rating websites, the Cairngorm Black Gold is a cracking example of a Scottish stout done right. The multi-award winning ale has a rich, nutty flavour and goes well with red meat.

Abv: 4.4%

Price: £1.70

For those who….. love a rich ale that cakes your mouth in gorgeous flavour.

Rest of the world

Anchor Steam Beer

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One of the most successful craft beer brands in the world, rumour has it that the American Government even changed the brewing law so that production limits still ensure Anchor’s craft beer appellation, though we’ve yet to see evidence so perhaps take that with a pinch of salt. A stunning little beer, the term ‘steam’ apparently refers to a nickname for beer for America’s west coast.

Abv: 4.8%

Price: £2 per bottle

For those who…… like a little bit of Americana style old school cool.

Brooklyn lager

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The eponymous beer from the spiritual home of craft beer, Brooklyn lager is a wonderfully crisp Viennese-style beer that is dry hopped to create a refreshing lager with great taste.

Abv: 5.2%

Price: £6 for a 4 pack

For those who…. like their beer to have the attitude of a man with a lumberjack shirt, tattoos and a beard.

Leffe Blond

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Doing great beer hundreds of years before it was cool; Leffe’s Belgian abbey style beer is classically made using centuries of experience and the best quality ingredients. Elegant, smooth and fruity with a lovely citrusy after taste.

Abv: 6.6%

Price: £3

For those who… like their beer to be like a brick in a velvet glove;  classic, elegant and packing a punch.

Well’s Banana Bread Beer

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Though many can be sceptical of fruit beers (and rightly so, as unless they made well, they can be terrible) when done right they can offer a refreshing twist on modern beers. This unique brew combines all the traditional qualities and style of a Charles Wells beer with the subtle flavour of banana.

Abv: 5.2%

Price: £1.50

For those who…… like to a gamble on something a little different.

Overall thoughts: Good to see Asda making an effort when it comes to Scottish ales but the selection was slightly more limited than we’d like in terms of styles, especially when it came to stouts and porters.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming tasting of some of the above beers as we try to decide which supermarket bought beers are the best.

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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